Dutch DJ duo Blasterjaxx knows a lot more about bass than baseball. But Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf have been learning, ever since New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz helped turn their 2017 dance track “Narco” into the song of the summer.
During his first three up-and-down years in New York, Diaz’s ninth-inning entries often elicited prayers. Now, they’re parties. On Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Met broke out their brass again when Diaz strode out to the song’s now-iconic Timmy Trumpet riff. Thousands more joined on invisible instruments, staying on their feet as Diaz closed out a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that extended New York’s NL East lead to 5.5 games over the Atlanta Braves.
Last week, 66-year-old Mets manager Buck Showalter delayed a bathroom visit to watch a different Diaz entrance, while SNY director John DeMarsico blew through a commercial break to capture the moment. No one was going to miss out on baseball’s coolest current sensation—and the most recent reminder of the unique joys the sport can offer.
Jongkind told Sportico he first noticed a spike in streams for the song in late July. According to data from Luminate, U.S. streams of “Narco” doubled in the week ending on July 28 to over 200,000. But that was just the beginning of the song’s ascent. Last week, the song tallied 1.2 million streams, an 847% increase over the week ending July 21. As of Monday, “Narco” was No. 3 on Spotify’s list of most viral songs in the country.
“It’s almost like we re-released the song,” Makhlaf said in an interview with Sportico. “The streams are crazy, the interaction is crazy, how everyone from America is reacting is crazy.”
On Twitter, SNY’s most popular clip is nearing 9 million views, and the use of the trumpet emoji on the service overall has more than doubled.
Who does Blasterjaxx have to thank for the recent pop? Well, the list might start with Charlie Sheen.
Inspired by Sheen’s 1989 performance in Major League, the Baltimore Orioles began playing “Wild Thing” before closer Gregg Olson’s appearances. The practice then made its way to San Diego, where staffers decided “Hell’s Bells” would be the perfect song for Trevor Hoffman.
The anthem wasn’t enough to help the Padres avoid getting swept by the Yankees in the 1998 World Series, but it did infect a few New York staffers with the idea to eventually have Mariano Rivera trot in to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” With that, baseball’s newest tradition was established.
Blasterjaxx should also prepare a thank-you present for Diaz’s wife, Nashaly. Diaz entered to “Narco” while with the Seattle Mariners, before switching to “No Hay Limite” when he joined the Mets in 2019. After his ERA ballooned from 1.96 to 5.59 that year, “My wife told me, ‘Hey, you should use that trumpet song,’” Diaz recently explained. “And I said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’“
Surely, the fun won’t continue forever (these are the Mets we’re talking about), but DeMarsico believes there’s a larger lesson to be learned here, too.
“I feel like these kinds of moments… are what could really help baseball grow,” he said. “I’ve seen other networks going the route of doing more advanced analytics, showing pitchcast and statcast and all of this extra stuff on the screen, and that’s really not my cup of tea. I think moments like this, capturing and engaging the viewers through spectacle, is really what baseball can do to grow the game to a younger generation.”
SNY doesn’t wait for the ninth inning for those moments, either. When Jacob deGrom returned to the Citi Field mound for the first time in over a year, DeMarsico told the announcers to take a breather so he could focus on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” playing over the speakers and fans cheering from their feet during deGrom’s warmup, cutting back and forth with a variety of cinematic transitions. “What else are we gonna do?” color man Ron Darling responded. “Give stats?”
But SNY saves many of its tricks for Diaz. On Saturday, it showed the closer in black and white before unleashing color as the horns began to blare.
This is not a case of life imitating art—it’s a rejection of that divide. Parks are theaters. People are watching, in person or from far away, to have a good time.
“I’ve had people reach out to me from all over the country that have no idea what the Mets are doing or who Edwin Diaz is, but they’ve seen this clip,” DeMarsico said. “Major League Baseball and regional baseball broadcasts should sort of take note.”
Back in the Netherlands, Jongkind and Makhlaf are still in the early phase of their baseball education. But they’re getting ready to become more involved, assuming the Mets’ music doesn’t get cut short.
“When they go to the World Series,” Makhlaf said, “Of course we’re going to watch.”